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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Los Angeles Lakers’ New Addition Spencer Dinwiddie Wraps Up First Practice, Details Signing Decision


Spencer Dinwiddie joined the Los Angeles Lakers because he views them as a franchise that understands how to win.

Fresh off his first practice with the Lakers, Dinwiddie spoke with the media and explained why he chose Los Angeles over the Dallas Mavericks, his former team.

If he had returned to the Mavericks, with whom he played from 2022 to ’23 and helped reach the Western Conference Finals, he felt that would’ve been the path of least resistance, Dinwiddie said Monday.

“The two situations kind of felt like this: Let’s say you were a kid and you got your ass whupped by the bully,” Dinwiddie said via ESPN. “Dallas would’ve been like your momma being like, ‘It’s OK, baby. Don’t worry about it.’ Lakers are like your dad: ‘Nah, you better go out there and fight ’til you win.’ You feel me? And I just felt like that was what I needed at the time.

“I’m a big believer in kind of doing what you need to do at whatever time it is.”

The Los Angeles native became a free agent after the Brooklyn Nets traded him to the Toronto Raptors ahead of the deadline. On Saturday, the Raptors bought out his contract before he cleared waivers.

That freed the point guard to sign with Los Angeles, who had $1.55 million remaining for a non-tax midlevel exception. And the Lakers expressed their interest by inviting Dinwiddie to the team’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The 30-year-old sat with Rob Pelinka, the Lakers president of basketball operations and general manager. Dinwiddie told reporters that Pelinka was the first call he received after being waived, and their time together watching Los Angeles’ victory made a good impression.

Also, Dinwiddie has played with several members of the team, who could help bring him up to speed. He played with Rui Hachimura on the Wizards, Christian Wood on the Mavs, and D’Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince and assistant coach Jordan Ott in Brooklyn.

“Essentially you’re seeing a team that when everything is on the line, they can rise to a level that no other team can get to,” Dinwiddie said. “They won the in-season tournament, have played big-time basketball the past several years. Obviously, sometimes it’s hard to maintain that throughout a whole season, but at the end of the day they know how to win. That’s what you know. Every night they’re going to get somebody’s best shot just because the name that’s on the front of the uniform.”

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham told Dinwiddie that he wants to play him immediately, so the pair met Sunday to do an individual film session. Dinwiddie’s first opportunity to play will be Tuesday, when the Lakers play the Detroit Pistons. He’s coming in at a time when Los Angeles is experiencing a rash of injuries.

“He’s going to acclimate himself really, really well, really soon,” Ham said. “Just told him, ‘Don’t worry about making mistakes.’ We’ll help talk him through it.”

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